Let me say this, if there is one team I hate more than the Flyers, it’s their instate rival Penguins. And, my reasons for disliking them are truly irrelevant. Let’s just agree with each other on this one… no Lightning fan I know would agree that they like the Pens… AT ALL!!!
That being said, there’s no denying this is a really good team. Unfortunately, for me, every time I watch them skate against any team in the league (and, I’m cheering against them with all my heart!) it’s painful to think of the bright future the Pittsburgh Penguins really have. Then, all the hate and anguish fade to nothing, when I see what happened to Geno and Crosby. No respectable fan wants to see two of the most promising talents in hockey get hurt the way these two guys got hurt. Even if Crosby had dropped the gloves and been concussed in a fight with Stamkos, my feelings would still be the same.
So, where does that bring me? Well, I still want to see them get slaughtered each and every night! I want to see them banged around like rag dolls, and have to fight for each goal and point they earn. And, most of all, I want to see them miss the playoffs, because they’ve got a full bowl of vengeance that they want to pour on our home town team! And, THAT, my friends, is scary (reference 2009 Stanley Cup Game 7 in Detroit)!
Now, let’s take a look at FanSided’s very own Pens Labyrinth to see what they have to say about the Penguins chances…
“Three words will determine the Penguins fate this season: Sidney Crosby’s health. If Crosby can return to form, the Pens will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. If Sid misses significant time with post-concussion symptoms or – gasp! – gets re-injured, this could be another one-and-done playoff season.” - Bill Mayer - “There’s no doubt Evgeni Malkin’s and Jordan Staal’s health are also vital to Pittsburgh’s success, but let’s be honest – this is Crosby’s team. Without him last year, the Pens just couldn’t score. This proved to be a fatal flaw against Tampa in the playoffs.”
“Due to a lack of significant offseason activity, this is virtually the same exact team as last season. The Pens suffered minimal roster casualties while standing pat with its core. Whether this is a good or bad decision by management remains to be seen. With goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and a solid blueline, the Pens have things covered defensively. Offensively, the team needs James Neal to, you know, score, and repeat 20-goal campaigns from Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy would sure help the cause. Let’s take a closer look at the 2011-12 Pens.”